Mets Free Agent Candidate: Starting pitcher Cole Hamels
There will be a lot of free agent starting pitchers available this offseason and the New York Mets will be right in the middle of it. One of the names the Mets should consider is Cole Hamels.
The New York Mets will go into the 2020 season with most of their starting pitching rotation coming back. There will be an open spot with Zack Wheeler becoming a free agent and not many in house options available to replace him. One name on the market that the Mets should consider is Cole Hamels.
In his 14 year career, Hamels has been a 4-time All-Star and finished in the top ten Cy Young voting on four different occasions. He has a career 3.42 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, 8.5 K/9s, and a 163-121 record.
Hamels spent a few years in the American League and his ERA is over half a run better in the National League which is a great sign for the Mets if they decided to go after the veteran southpaw. Hamels also pitched in the NL East for 10 years, so the handful of players that are left in the division from his time he knows well.
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Hamels just concluded an 8 year/$173 million dollar contract and his age 35 season. He should draw some interest on the free agent market and the Mets should be one of the teams interested. Hamels will be entering his age 36 season and proved this past season that he is still an effective pitcher and can get outs. He did miss some time with an oblique injury but still managed to appear in 27 games.
This past season Hamels had a 7-7 record in 140 innings while starting 27 games. He had a 3.81 ERA, 143 strikeouts, and a 1.39 WHIP.
Before Hamels landed on the injured list in June, he was in the middle of another solid year. He was 6-1 and had a 2.92 ERA in 98 2/3 innings. If he did not get hurt he was on pace to have a strong year and be in very good shape for free agency.
Hamels more than likely came back not fully 100% as he struggled heavily after returning from the injury. With a full offseason to fully recover from any lingering injuries, he should be back to his career normal next season.
With the Mets in need of another starting pitcher and already having Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard as aces in the front of the rotation, Hamels could slide into the middle or even the back end of the rotation. There are bigger and better names available this offseason which is no secret, but the Mets have two guys who are aces and are not in need of a top tier arm, so it is better to spend their money somewhere else.
Considering the crowded pitching market this offseason, the Mets could get Hamels for a good deal. He will not be cheap, but he also will not cost the Amazins 20+ million a year. It is fair to say we could see him get a deal for 2-3 years and around $10-15 million a year.
The Mets would be getting a good consistent pitcher who will start around 30 games a year, eat some innings, and post a mid 3.00 ERA. Not only will Hamels provide some solid pitching, but he can also be a good veteran presence in the clubhouse to a relatively young team.
We already know that Hamels is capable of handling the spotlight as he pitched in Philadelphia for parts of ten seasons, including the World Champion team in 2008 where he won both the NLCS and World Series MVP. Hamels also was a part of the Cubs the last two seasons as they tried to get back to the World Series after their 2016 championship.
Hamels has pitched in the spotlight throughout his career and has shined brightly, so if the Mets were to sign him they would not have to worry about him dealing with the spotlight and media in New York.
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Should the Mets consider signing Cole Hamels?